This week we did the perfect summer activity- swimming in the river! All these years I’ve lived here (eight and counting), I still didn’t know a good swimming spot along the river that flows by our house. We had favorite river spots, but not one that was great for swimming. That changed this week when our dear friend, who also adores swimming, shared a special place with us. It wasn’t very far from our house either! She showed us the overgrown trail and as we neared the water, there were giant cedar trees with entwined roots. It looked really magical and enchanted. Near the water there was a nice sandy area and a shallow spot for swimming, next to a deeper spot for swimming. It was a great spot.
I didn’t expect Bracken to be interested in going in the water. He loves the bathtub and our tiny pool in the backyard, but when it comes to large bodies of water he has never wanted to go in. I’ve gently tried dipping his feet in the river and in the ocean before, which he made clear that he was not into, until our last trip to the ocean where he had his feet in the water for a moment. But this time he loved the water, much to my delight. It was a really hot day and the water felt incredible. The more we swam in it, the warmer it felt. Bracken quickly went from playing along the edge with a bucket, shoveling sand, to holding my hand and wanting to go deeper and deeper in the water. Then he’d say “all done” and we’d go back to the edge, where he’d say “more” and we’d head back out. He saw mama swimming and friends swimming. He learned to kick his legs and to paddle with his arms. He was so confident charging into the water, it surprised me. He had a blast.
It felt incredible to dive into the water. When was the last time I went swimming? Far too long. I love swimming. So so much. I’ve avoided chlorine pools after learning about how toxic they are and enjoy swimming in natural bodies of water- rivers, lakes, oceans. I can’t even express how happy I am to have a good swimming spot nearby to go swimming more often!
Every time I visit this river, I’m in awe of how beautiful it is. Actually anytime I go anywhere around here, I’m amazed. The mountains, the trees, the lush green, the moss… I look around and it truly feels like home to me. After moving to Oregon, I’ve often looked around and thought “I get to live here?!”
There was rock skipping, crawdad watching, and exuberant splashing.
As we headed up the trail towards home and I turned around for one last look,
I thought: “I will remember this day forever!”